Contact Information:
Kathleen Pryer
Department of Biology
Duke University
Durham, NC 27707-0338
Telephone: 919-660-7380


El jefe 大老闆


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Kathleen Pryer, Professor of Biology

My research focuses on

  • integrated molecular and morphological phylogenetic studies of land plant diversity and evolution
  • polyploidy and apomixis in ferns
  • reconciling molecular rate heterogeneity with life history patterns
  • strategic planning for collections-based institutes, especially herbaria


Otro jefe 另外一個大老闆


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Michael Windham, Curator of Vascular Plants (DUKE)

I am, first and foremost, a cytogeneticist, pursuing various types of chromosome analyses in an effort to understand plant evolution.  My interest in cytogenetic studies encompasses many taxonomic groups, but especially ferns and various genera of the mustard family (Brassicaceae), mostly Boechera and Draba.  Targeting taxa and regions that are poorly-known, I aim to develop baseline chromosome data that can then be integrated with other systematic data to test hypotheses of relationship.  Implicit in every project is the goal of developing a set of chromosome vouchers to provide DNA samples for phylogenetic studies.  Chromosome work on these groups have revealed an incredibly complex pattern of reticulate (hybrid) evolution that cannot be resolved without integrating information from cytogenetics, morphology, molecular systematics and reproductive biology. 

Studies such as those outlined above often lead to the discovery of chromosomal variation within taxa that have been accepted as a single species.  This is where my interest in population genetics and biogeography come into play.  With sufficient sampling of cytogenetic and molecular variability, fascinating geographic patterns often emerge.  These patterns can tell us much about the details of evolution and often lead to new hypotheses of relationship.  

For a complete list of my publications, click HERE



Los trabajadores 苦力 (grad students, postdocs, et al.)


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Layne Huiet, Senior Research Scientist

I am broadly interested in fern phylogenetics, with a focus on the adiantoid clade (Pteridaceae). In particular, I am obsessed with demonstrating the monophyly of Adiantum, and plumbing the complexities of cheilanthoid evolution. I also like Gilligan.


    • Kathryn Picard

Kathryn Picard, Ph.D. candidate


    • Tzu-Tong Kao

Tzu-Tong Kao, Ph.D. candidate

I have broad interest in plant systematics, anatomy, and microscopy. 

My current research is focused on the function and evolution of "farina" (waxy flavonoid exudates on leaf surface) in the desiccation-tolerant fern clade notholaenids (Pteridaceae). For more information about my current and previous studies, please visit my website.


    • Ariana Eily

Ariana Eily, Ph.D. candidate

I am excitedly working on uncovering the mechanism of nutrient exchange in the intricate symbiosis between the small aquatic fern Azolla and its obligate N2-fixing cyanobacterium, Nostoc azollae. For more information please check out my website



    • Karla Sosa

Karla Sosa, Ph.D. student

I am broadly interested in the Andes as a region, especially how diversification and evolution have occurred in the dry Inter-Andean valleys. I'm keen on understanding biogeographical patterns and the effects that varied reproductive strategies (polyploidy, apomixis, various levels of selfing) have had on diversification.

For more information, and for my past life, please visit my website



Alumnos distinguidos 優秀的前夥伴


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Fay-Wei Li

Now Assistant Professor at Boyce Thompson Institute, Ithaca, NY 

  Pryer Lab honors: PhD 2010–2015; Postdoc 2015-2016

  Graduate student-era website can be found here.


    • Michaela

Michaela Stith

 Pryer lab honors: Undergraduate researcher


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Erin M. Sigel

Now Assistant Professor at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette

  Pryer Lab honors: PhD 2008–2014

  Graduate student-era website can be found here


    • Amanda

Amanda Grusz
Now Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota–Duluth

  Pryer Lab honors: PhD 2007–2014

  Graduate student-era website can be found here


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Anne Johnson

Former Associate Researcher and Undergraduate

  Pryer Lab honors: Associate Researcher 2010–2014


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Carl Rothfels


Now Assistant Professor at University of California Berkeley

  Pryer Lab honors: PhD 2006–2012

  Graduate student-era website can be found here 


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James Beck

Now Assistant Professor at Wichita State University, KS

  Pryer Lab honors: Postdoc 2007–2010


    • eric

Eric Schuettpelz

Now Curator of Ferns, Department of Botany, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

   Pryer Lab honors: PhD 2007; Postdoc 2007–2009


    • sabine

Sabine Hennequin

Now Assistant Professor at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie, Paris, France

  Pryer Lab honors: Postdoc 2005–2007


    • jordan

Jordan Metzgar


Now Ph.D. student at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks

  Pryer Lab honors: Associate Researcher 2004–2007


    • Nat

Nathalie Nagalingum

Now Research Botanist at Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney, Australia

  Pryer Lab honors: Postdoc 2003–2007


    • petra

Petra Korall

Now Associate Professor at Uppsala University, Sweden

  Pryer Lab honors: Postdoc 2004–2006


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Harald Schneider

Now Professor at Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China

  Pryer Lab honors: Postdoc 2001


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